Covid-19 in France

France adds Russia to Covid 'red' list, UK still 'orange'

Passengers arriving from countries listed as Covid-19 red zones register for coronavirus tests upon their arrival at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy near Paris.
Passengers arriving from countries listed as Covid-19 red zones register for coronavirus tests upon their arrival at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy near Paris. © AFP/Ian Langsdon

France on Wednesday added Russia to its list of countries from which non-essential travel is banned, as concern grows over a spike of cases in Moscow due to the Delta variant. The UK 'at this stage' remains in the 'orange' zone, which means that travellers are allowed to enter France with both a vaccine and a Covid test.

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In recent weeks, Russia, and especially Moscow, have been hard hit by the highly infectious Delta variant first identified in India, a problem compounded by slow take-up of vaccines even though the country has produced its own jabs.

Namibia and the Seychelles are also being added to the "red" list, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters.

As it seeks to stop the spread of 'potentially dangerous Covid-19 variants', France has divided the world into green, orange and red countries for travel.

There are now no restrictions for vaccinated travellers coming from green countries, which include in particular:

‘Orange’ countries: vaccine and Covid test required

Most other countries are defined as orange, from where travel is allowed if a traveller is vaccinated and presents a negative Covid test on arrival.

Travel from red list countries -- which already included Brazil, India and South Africa -- is only allowed on pressing grounds and even then vaccinated travellers must self-isolate for seven days.

Delta variant in the UK

There has been concern over the rise of Delta variant cases in the UK.

The recent spike in cases there has been far less drastic than in Russia against the background of the rapid vaccination rollout in the UK, where 82 percent of adults have had at least one jab.

Asked if France was considering adding the UK to its red list, Attal said: "We adapt our rules according to the development of the threat.

If measures need to be taken for other countries, then we will take them. But at this stage I have no information to communicate."

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